Book: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Published May 2016 by Simon Pulse|389 pages
Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library
Genre: YA Contemporary
“I made the wrong choice.”
Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.
But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.
People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.
I went into this book thinking it sounded cute but not sure I’d like it. Especially since I picked it up on a whim at the library. But I ended up really liking it!
I wasn’t surprised by a lot of the story- when her mom started talking about this guy, I knew he’d be her dad, and she’d go off to live with him. I was a little bit surprised by the life-changing secret, but thinking about it now, it should have been a little more obvious.
I liked seeing her learn more about her mom, and seeing her discover Italy. I expected more gelato, considering it’s in the title, but Lina had a lot of adventures in Italy.
Something about it made me think of Anna And The French Kiss. Maybe it’s a girl exploring a new country and falling in love and learning more about herself, but there was something about Love & Gelato that made me think of Anna. I think this book could be a cute book for fans of Anna, but maybe that’s just me.
I love how connected she was to her mom, and how the journal helped her deal with the loss of her mom. She learned a lot about her mom’s time in Italy, and she met some really cool people along the way. Things weren’t what she expected, and I really liked seeing her become more open to staying with people her mom trusted and liked and being more open to staying in Italy, even when she was initially just planning to stay there for a few months and trying to get back to the U.S.
Other than what I’ve already mentioned, I don’t have much else to say about Love & Gelato.
4 stars. I really liked it, and I wasn’t expecting to! It’s cute and fun Lina is a really cool character.